Thursday, March 05, 2009

Top 10 on my iPod

Here's a few of the songs that's been burning a hole through my iPod earphones as well as the car audio speakers lately. While some may be very familiar radio hits of the past few months, there are a few of my personal favourites that have not (yet) become big hits, at least not here in Malaysia. Hope you guys like them.

1. Sweetest Love - Robin Thicke
He is perhaps most well known for his 2007 R&B #1 hit, Lost Without You and he has recently released a follow-up album called Something Else. The first single, Magic was used in promotional spots for the Samsung Soul handphone, but I found the second single Sweetest Love to be even more soulful.

2. My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson
She was embroiled in a very public spat with RCA head Clive Davis over her last album, My December which resulted in a cancelled concert tour and lacklustre sales for an album that many critics found too angry and negative. Well, on her forthcoming album, she seems to have lightened up and even donned some pretty tight and suggestive leather outfits to try and win back some of her fans who felt alienated by her angsty previous work. The first single, My Life Would Suck Without You is a tongue-in-cheek send-up to the powers that be and in this song, she manages to apologise AND give the finger (metaphorically) to Mr Davis. I guess some things never change.

3. Permanent - David Cook
Three months on and everytime I listen to this song I still get the chills. Co written by David Cook, its dedicated to his cancer-stricken brother Adam. Its a very personal song that grips you from the first piano keystroke to the last. The line that gets to me the most

"And so I ask Oh God is there some way for me to take his place
And when they say it’s all touch and go I wish I could make it go away..."

4. I Told You So - Carrie Underwood
And the American Idol bandwagon rolls on. This is the fifth (fifth!) hit single to come out of her sophomore album Carnival Ride. Originally a hit for country legend Randy Travis, Carrie received resounding endorsement from him to rerecord this typical country ditty that yes, if you play it backwards, the guy comes back to the girl and they fall in love again. ;)

5. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) - Beyoncè
Oh I just love the black and white video of her in leotards and dancing in high heels . I recently found out that one of the backup dancers is actually a man, well, who has since become a erm.. lady, of course. This is a typical example of how a fabulous music video can heighten the appeal of a song and push it into the upper charts stratosphere. There's even a SNL sendup of the video which I blogged about recently.

6. Use Somebody - Kings Of Leon
Kings Of Leon is an American rock band which first achieved fame in Europe before finally gaining critical and commercial success in their home country. They were recently awarded the Best Rock Vocals performance Grammy for their single Sex On Fire and this is the follow-up single which also became a hit particularly in the UK and Australia.

7. Please Don't Leave Me - P!nk
I have always been a fan of her music and and even bigger fan of her music videos. The cheekiness and often dark humour that she portrays in them never fails to entertain your truly. This latest release off the Funhouse album sees her do a Kathy Bates ala Misery in which she exacts grievous revenge on her ex-boyfriend and prevents him from escaping her clutches. An instant classic! Oh, and the song's not half bad either. ;)

8. Stepping Stone - Duffy
Her 'Mercy' was my top song for 2008 and she continues to pull out another gem from her debut album, Stepping Stone to try to reestablish herself in the US. This song is about not allowing herself to be just a stepping stone for someone else and to stand up for herself in life and love. Hear hear!

9. Gravity - Sara Bareilles
A friend of mine was talking to me the other day about loving the one that got away, the one that you would drop everything at the drop of a hat to be at his/her beck and call even after being ignored, spurned, heartbroken or just plain treated badly. Well, every time I hear this song, it always reminds me of that conversation, so Nick, this is dedicated to you. I hope you don't try to kill yourself after hearing this song. :p

10. Bust Your Windows - Jazmine Sullivan
Oooh... hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! Newcomer Jazmine Sullivan does a Carrie Underwood on her two-timing man and collects multiple Grammy nods in the process. Let this be a lesson to all you unfaithful boys. Today's women are empowered and will not hesitate to bust up your pretty little ride if she catches you cheating on her with someone else. Just heed the ancient Chinese saying, "If you want to steal some food, make sure you wipe your mouth clean afterwards". Hehehehe

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Like Dance Biscuits

A friend just forwarded this SNL snippet to me on FB and I have been rolling on the floor laughing my guts out for the past hour watching it. Keep a lookout for Justin Timberlake's really "beautiful" smooth legs. Priceless!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Of Thick Worms and Crimson Tides

Last weekend, I had the privilege of attending a play directed by my good friend, Christopher Ling, called The Secret Love Life Of Ophelia at KLPAC. Chris was recently awarded the Anugerah Seri Negara (National Arts Award) Young Talent Award for Theatre Directing and as I have never seen him in action, I was very excited to see his work for the very first time.

I arrived at the theatre at around 8pm and was surprised to see that there was already quite a sizeable crowd in the main hall waiting to see the play. It turns out that that evening's performance was part of a series of plays specially for students of the various performing arts schools in KL. Oh and also because there was the finals of the Radio Idol (Tamil language) competition upstairs. ;)

The play was written by renowned playwright/actor Steven Berkoff and it centres upon the secret correspondence between two (and only two!) characters of Shakespeare's Hamlet, namely Hamlet and his forbidden love, Ophelia. It was charmingly anachronistic in spirit as ye olde English was used throughout the play (...I thank thee for thy generous invitation and would be humbled to hear thee play thy pipe...) even as the two protagonist lived their lives watching DVD movies and checking emails from their laptops.

Both the actors, Sharon Lam and Alfred Loh were relatively new to the theatre scene but I wouldn't have known that as their excellent protrayal of the star crossed lovers had me and the entire audience besotted with the evolution of their passion and lust for each other.

Perhaps the other 'star' of the play was the sexually charged language of the play itself ( horn doth grow...thy thick worm shall satisfy...), which, to students of Shakespeare wouldn't have been a surprise, but as there were quite a number of teenagers in the audience chaperoned by their Literature teachers, elicited a few sniggers from the boys as a crimson tide invaded the pale shores of the young girls' cheeks.

All in all, I found the play a thoroughly delightful and intelligent production and definitely an eye-opener for me, a kampung boy who hardly ever gets the chance to see a play, let alone a Shakespearean one. Kudos to the cast and crew who managed to stage a very engaging performance that left me thirsty for more. Now if only I can remember where I put that Mel Gibson DVD.....